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Don't blame Proteas for pulling out: Srikkanth

He justified their decision to return home saying they were not used to terror situations in South Africa.

india Updated: Aug 19, 2006 12:57 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Former Indian captain K Srikkanth on Friday said the South Africans were justified in pulling out of the cricket tri-series following a bomb blast in Colombo, saying they were not used to terror situations.

"One can't blame South Africans for shying away from the tri-series because their players are not used to such things," Srikkanth said.

The former opener said South Africans, Australians and English players were not used to such conditions whereas Indian players had witnessed such situations in the past.

Asked if the high security and terror in Sri Lanka would affect the performance of the Indian team, Srikkanth said "certainly not".

"Our players are strong enough to cope up with any such adverse situation. I think Indian players would play their natural game in Sri Lanka," he said on the sidelines of a function organised by Teacher's Highnight.

Srikkanth said with the return of Sachin Tendulkar from an injury lay off, the Indian team should continue with him in the opening slot alongwith Virender Sehwag.

"I think Indian team should continue with the pair of Sachin (Tendulkar) and (Virender) Sehwag, there is no need to change this attacking batting slot."

About the much debated fitness of the Mumbai batsman, he said "Sachin is one of the finest cricketers India has ever produced, and as far as I know him as a person, I think he would quit the day he would feel he is not fit for playing."

"In my opinion there is much cricket left in him and he should continue with it," Srikkanth said.

On the poor form of paceman Irfan Pathan, he said, "Irfan Pathan is a nice all-rounder who can open bowling for India and at the same time he can bat at any number at any given condition.

"I hope he would regain his old form and would prove his mettle again on the Sri Lanka tour."

On inclusion of Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble among the probables for the upcoming Champions Trophy, Srikkanth said there was a possibility that they would be selected in the final 14.

About Ganguly's return, he said, "no one can stop him if he believes in his abilities and start playing good cricket" adding that Ganguly will make a comeback in the Champions Trophy.

Srikanth also said it was too early to predict if Ganguly would be included in the World Cup team.

"It is too early to predict, but all depends on how he plays," he said.

First Published: Aug 18, 2006 16:54 IST